A Washington, DC, hospital is being accused of unfairly firing 11 nurses after they claimed they couldn’t make it to work during the two snowstorms that slammed the nation’s capital earlier this month.
The dismissed nurses point to reports that hundreds of other nurses at Washington Hospital Center at some point missed work during the snow storms as proof that the firings were unjust.
The Washington Post reported Sunday that 11 nurses and five other hospital staffers were dismissed for missing work due to snow between Feb. 5 and Feb. 11. The nurses’ union told the Post that “about 250” nurses at some point were unable to make it to work during the storm. The paper also notes that the hospital’s policy “does not mention termination as a consequence for failing to get to work.”
During Fox & Friends Monday, legal analyst Arthur Aidala said he believes the nurses have a good case to sue the hospital because of the selective nature of the firings.
And he suggested a different reason for the firings: “At least two of the nurses were senior nurses who were being paid the highest amount possible at the hospital,” Aidala said.
But Joseph Tocopina, a former prosecutor and trial attorney, said the nurses don’t have a valid case because the hospital couldn’t stop treating patients during inclement weather.
“What if the doctors and nurses didn’t show up that day because it was a tough day, they coudn’t make it because of all the snow?” Tocopina asked. “What would have happened to all those patients?”
Shirley Ricks, 57, one of the senior nurses mentioned by Aidala, told Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson that her firing was “puzzling.”
The fact that hundreds of other nurses get to keep their jobs is “why I feel it’s so unfair,” she said. “If it’s a policy, it should have been across the board. I don’t know why people were singled out for being terminated.”
This video is from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast March 1, 2010.